Diabetes and dental health have a unique relationship. Since November is diabetes awareness month, it’s a great time to learn more about the relationship between the two. Did you know that according to the American Diabetes Association, approximately 210,000 Americans under age 20 have diagnosed diabetes? And, between 2014-2015, the annual incidence of diagnosed diabetes in youth was estimated at 18,200 with type 1 diabetes, 5,800 with type 2 diabetes. So, just how does diabetes affect dental health? Read on to find out how diabetes affects dental health and what you should do about it.
When you have diabetes, high blood sugar can take a toll on your entire body — including your teeth and gums. Diabetes makes you more susceptible to tooth decay, gingivitis, periodontitis, thrush, and dry mouth. The good news is that prevention strategies work at protecting your dental health. Learn more about what you can do to safeguard your smile.
Periodontal (gum) disease is the most common dental disease impacting those that suffer from diabetes. The disease affects kids’ teeth, requiring parents to actively help their children manage their oral health while living with diabetes. This is not something parents should try to go alone. Involving your dental health provider is key.
Children with type 1 or type 2 diabetes have a greater risk of developing gingivitis and periodontal disease, according to research from the National Library of Medicine. The development of periodontal disease in children has been shown to be a result of issues with metabolic control or in patients with elevated hemoglobin A1c (A1c) levels.
Periodontal disease negatively affects glycemic control and other diabetes related complications. Treatment of periodontal disease can combat these negative effects.
Also, dental caries is a varied oral disease that is frequently found in those with diabetes.
To help prevent dental caries and periodontal disease, research shows that attention to excellent oral hygiene and a healthy diet are key. In addition, regular and thorough tooth brushing can help minimize oral risk. Reducing the intake of sugary foods can decrease oral effects in children with diabetes.
Children with diabetes are placed at higher risk for gum disease if proper attention to blood sugar management doesn’t occur. Gum disease triggers a slight rise in blood sugar levels, making diabetes more difficult to manage. This is just one of the reasons that children living with diabetes need active management of oral health to avoid cavities and gum disease.
29 million Americans live with diabetes today, and 8.1 million people are living with undiagnosed diabetes. If you think your child may have diabetes, visit your primary care doctor for an accurate diagnosis.
If a child has diabetes that isn’t managed properly, oral health suffers. Be on the lookout for any of the following oral symptoms and call Dr. Botero as soon as you can to schedule treatment:
Parents can help their children avoid the oral pain and health risks associated with diabetes with proper attention to oral health. Help your child to thoroughly brush teeth twice per day for two minutes at a time, and floss once per day. Encourage hydration to prevent dry mouth from reduced saliva production–a common symptom of diabetes. Dry mouth can amplify plaque buildup and increase dental caries (cavities).
Research indicates that by treating gum disease you can better help manage diabetes by improving blood-sugar control. Dr. Botero can help your child fight gum disease with a customized treatment plan that helps you and your child manage oral health.
If you have a child with diabetes it is essential to manage his oral health properly. A visit to our Li’l Sunshine Smiles Dentistry office can help you find the help you need to take on this challenge with confidence and support. We specialize in care for children. Dr. Botero will create a treatment plan that will help you and your child better care for oral health. Call our office at 813-576-0200 today for an appointment.